Discontinuous-PWM Method for Multilevel N-Cell Cascaded H-Bridge Converters

Abraham Marquez, Vito Giuseppe Monopoli, Anatolii Tcai, Jose I. Leon, Giampaolo Buticchi, Sergio Vazquez, Marco Liserre, Leopoldo Garcia Franquelo

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The cascaded H-bridge converter (CHB) is a very suitable solution with inherent modularity for many applications such as flexible ac transmission systems and motor drives. In this article, the discontinuous pulsewidth modulation (DPWM) by clamping some power cells is used in the CHB because it permits to reduce the switching losses in the power devices. However, this provokes a high harmonic distortion (basebands and sidebands harmonics) in the CHB output voltage compared with the quality obtained avoiding to clamp cells, just applying the conventional phase-shifted PWM (PS-PWM) technique. This has been studied for the three-cell CHB topology but the extension for an N-cell CHB with several clamped cells is a challenge that is addressed in this article. A generalized CHB harmonic voltage analysis applying the DPWM method is presented considering multiple clamped cells. The harmonic distortion mitigation target can be decoupled into two objectives. The proposed method cleverly groups the cells (one clamped + one or two nonclamped cells) to mitigate the basebands harmonic distortion. Simultaneously, a variable-angle PS-PWM technique is applied to the CHB in order to mitigate the sidebands harmonics content. Experimental results demonstrate the good performance of the proposed method.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9170884
Pages (from-to)7996-8005
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • Power conversion harmonics
  • pulse width modulation inverters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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